ACT to the government: Swallow your pride and follow our policy

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David Seymour

David Seymour

Wellington, October 2, 2021

                              

Auckland has been under Lockdown since August 18, 2021 (Photo for Stuff by Jason Dorday)


New Zealanders need this government to provide certainty.

Delta has changed the game; the lockdowns are no longer short and sharp.

Overall effects of lockdowns are impacting our wellbeing, mental health, families, and businesses, this needs to be considered. A balance between safeguarding us against Covid and economic growth and social well-being must be established.

Migrant communities stressed

I hear from our migrant communities regularly about the issues of permanent residents not being allowed back into New Zealand. These include tech entrepreneurs and skilled migrants who are productive members of our economy, not being provided the platform to add to New Zealand’s economic growth. This is also causing a strain on families torn apart by a government that claimed to be kind.

With the eradication strategy no longer viable, there needs to be a change of approach.

ACT has put forward the following plan as part of our Covid recovery strategy.

It is time to start planning for life beyond lockdowns. We cannot keep living with the uncertainty that we could be locked down again at any moment.

 

Auckland’s CBD has been quiet (RNZ Photo by Jordan Bond)

It is time to look to the future with a renewed sense of confidence.

  1. ACT recognises that eradication is no longer a viable strategy to pursue. We must move to a policy of harm minimisation. This policy should aim to reduce transmission, hospitalisation, and death from Covid at the least possible cost to Kiwis overall well being
  2. Move from isolating entire cities to isolating only those who are vulnerable to be impacted by the disease. Personal isolation should be restricted to three groups: those who are medically vulnerable and require special protection, those who have recently arrived in New Zealand and are privately isolating, and those who have tested positive as part of widespread surveillance testing.
  3. Move from chronic fear and uncertainty and get on a clear path to restoring freedom. We should settle when the vaccine rollout is ‘complete’ and aim to get Kiwi’s home for Christmas- that will be the best present for many Kiwi families.
  4. Move from a ‘government knows best’ approach to an approach of openness, and host all in ‘sprints. In each sprint, the business community and all of society are invited to help reach clearly identified goals of lower transmission rates, hospitalisations, and deaths, in time for reopening. This will be areal-life example of Kiwis banding together as a team.
  5. The entire tone of New Zealand’s Covid response should shift from fear and a singular focus on public health, towards an emphasis on maximising overall wellbeing.

Covid 2.0 Strategy

Six months ago, ACT released Covid 2.0. The government implemented nine of the fifteen policy ideas in our policy paper; many-many months after they were first published.

Today we ask the government to look at our positive and future-focused proposal, swallow its pride and take our ideas – sooner rather than later.

New Zealanders are ready to open to the world- safely and practically. We want our children back at school, tertiary students attending Universities in person, getting back to setting up and expanding our businesses, attracting bright human capital, regaining our freedoms, and living our lives to our best potential.

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